Support of the Extension of the 9/11 Health & Compensation Law

I write this post as someone from the outside of the first responder community, I am not a police officer or a firefighter but through wanting to help others with health problems similar to our own, the 9/11 community embraced me as one of their own and some of my good friends responded to the tragedy on that terrible day which is why I feel so passionately about the extending of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

The following was written by the 9/11 Rescue Workers and Friends group – Claudia Thomas and I urge you to send to your Congressman today.

SEND TO: (Newspaper Editors, Television Stations, Congressional/Senatorial Representatives)

Dear (NAME), (TITLE),

ADDRESS

As a 9/11 (Responder/Survivor/Family Member), I want to bring to your attention important information as concerns the condition of our 9/11 Community since 2001; myself, being but one of them.

I was a (responder/survivor/family member), and currently live in (State name).  I (or loved one) have been a participant in the WTC Health Program.  The Program is funded from the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that was signed into law, January 2011(1).  This program is set to run out of funds next year, leaving us without much needed benefits.

Statistics show that over 30,000 Responders and Survivors have one or more health conditions as a result of toxic exposure at the sites, with the greatest number of those sick or who have died, having served/survived the attack at the World Trade Center.  Over 3,500 ‘currently’ have 9/11 related cancer and those numbers are tragically expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.  There are over 70,000 in the World Trade Center Health Program, which also treats responders/survivors from the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania sites(2).

Are you aware that over 429 out of the total 435 Congressional Districts of our country have responders/survivors of the September 11th attacks residing in them(3)?

An extension of the Zadroga 9/11 Health Care and Compensation Act would continue this much needed Health Program, and provide monitoring and health care for responders/survivors in all 50 States.  Further, it will continue the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) providing economic relief from losses incurred from the sicknesses, and for families who have lost their loved ones due to toxic exposure related illnesses.  The Reauthorization of the law would also secure the City of New York’s contribution of 10% matching cost to the Health Care Program; and extend NIOSH support of the WTC Health Registry.  Finally, and equally important, the extension would provide needed research for 9/11 related illnesses.

On December 3, 2010, the NYCPBA (Policemen’s Benevolent Association), reported that the 986th Responder had passed away from 9/11 related illness(4).  This number did not even take into account the Survivors who also succumbed.  Current estimates show more than 1600 have passed(5).  We must, as a nation, honor those who served or were caught up in the chaos and toxins through no fault of their own.  We (My loved one) did what was right to serve community and country as was needed at the time of the attacks, and for months following, finding ourselves (or them) sick and/or dying from our efforts.  The Veterans of 9/11 need your support in passing the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2014”, (HR. 5503 and S.2844).  We did the right thing and ask you do so also.

Thank you for your consideration and recall also, that during those horrific days, our country promised to ‘Never Forget’… we haven’t and hope you haven’t either.

  • R. 847 (111th): James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010
  • World Trade Center Health Program participants by Congressional District CDC/NIOSH November 2014
  • World Trade Center Health Program – Annual Statistics as of 9/30/2014
  • NYCPBA The Chief, December 3, 2010
  • 9/11 Rescue Workers and Friends Forum – Roll of Honor and Remembrance

CET

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